The Serviceberry

The Serviceberry (Amelanchier) is one of our favorite understory trees or shrubs and it’s blooming right now! Its creamy flowers attract the local mason bees and other species. It does not bloom for our purposes or needs, but to fertilize its flowers and set ripe delicious fruit (much like the blueberry in shape and flavor, but not as finicky about soils.). The birds might beat you to the berries, but so be it. Such is a part of the beauty of nature.

With the blooms, come the local pollinators and birds, and their territorial antics are a sight to see as they fight over their next meal. Robins love berries as do other thrushes like the hermit and varied thrush. Of course, birds get the fruits and, in exchange, there’s a cleaned seed that is dropped somewhere else in the forest where it can thrive away from the mother plant.

Native to North America and Canada, the variety called saskatoon serviceberry that has delicate, smaller stolons, and is taller than the local shrub variety.

We select serviceberries and other plants from nurseries that do not use pesticides or otherwise harmful chemical application on their plants. A couple of our go-to local nurseries are Shillings Garden Market and Schultz Farm and Garden. If the tree comes having been sprayed with a neonicotinoid pesticide such as imidacloprid, it can have residues in all parts of the plant (including the nectar).

When we plant in the spring or early fall, what do we plant, how do we plant, selecting plants, creating microclimates… there’s much more to this story! Stay tuned to our news & highlights page for more updates on all things plants, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on YouTube and Instagram.